We need to eat sugar.
Your body uses sugar, as a primary source of energy, for various physiological processes. When you eat sugar or carbohydrates, these get broken down during digestion into glucose. Glucose enters your bloodstream and gets transported to cells throughout your body. This is the primary fuel and main energy currency for your cells and is used to generate ATP (adenosine triphosphate),
Digestion and Absorption
Sugars and carbohydrates get broken down into glucose during the digestive process. Enzymes in your mouth, stomach, and small intestine, convert complex sugars into simpler forms like glucose. Once broken down, glucose is absorbed into your bloodstream from the small intestine and is then transported to your various body cells.
Energy production and storage
Glucose is absorbed by your cells, particularly muscle and brain cells. The glucose undergoes a series of chemical reactions (cellular respiration or metabolism). This occurs in the mitochondria and is broken down further to produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The excess glucose in your bloodstream that is not immediately needed, is converted into glycogen and stored in your liver and muscles. Sugars also contribute to the structure of nucleic acids (DNA and RNA), which are essential for genetic information transfer.
Glucose is very important for brain function, and it relies heavily on glucose as its main energy source. It also can’t store much glycogen so continuously requires a steady supply of glucose for optimal functioning. This glycogen can be broken back into glucose with increased energy demands, during physical activity or between meals when blood glucose levels drop. When glucose levels are low, it can lead to symptoms such as dizziness, confusion, and even loss of consciousness.
Fat burning Energy
Your body can also use other sources of energy, such as fatty acids and ketones derived from fats, especially during periods of fasting or low-carbohydrate intake. However, glucose remains a critical and preferred fuel source for many bodily functions.
So many hidden names for sugar
Sugars can appear on ingredient lists using a variety of names, which may sometimes be confusing. Here are some common terms used to indicate the presence of sugars in processed foods:
- High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS): HFCS is a sweetener made from corn syrup that has undergone enzymatic processing to increase its fructose content.
These are the others:
It’s important to note that there are many other names for sugars and sweeteners that may be used in ingredient lists. Being familiar with these terms can help you identify added sugars more effectively and make informed choices about the foods you consume.